Arsenal are believed to have opened initial talks with the agent of Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate after the youngster impressed while playing at the London 2012 Olympics.

The 22-year-old was a member of the squad that impressed at the Olympcis as they secured a draw with Team GB and were eventually knocked out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage by Mexico.

Kouyate, who can operate as a defensive midfielder or a centre-back, became a regular member of the Anderlecht first team last season as they won the league title by six points from Club Brugge and qualified for the Champions League.

Cheikhou Kouyate
Cheikhou Kouyate in action for Anderlecht last season [Reuters]

His performances are believed to have been brought to the attention of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Belgian publication sport magazine is now reporting that the Gunners are interested in signing Kouyate.

The report suggests that his performances at the Olympics alerted sides in England, Russia and Turkey, but it seems Arsenal are the first side to make contact, with the midfielders agent admitting he had received plenty of phone calls since the tournament ended for Senegal.

Arsenal have already been busy in the transfer window signing Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, but there are concerns over the future of both Robin van Persie and Alex Song.

Song has emerged as a target for Barcelona and Kouyate could well be viewed as a player that could fulfil the role of the Cameroon international.

Arsenal can also offer the midfielder Champions League football which would be vital for the player who would play in the competition if he remained at Anderlecht.

The report in the Belgian press claims that Anderlecht has planned to cash-in on the midfielder next summer but it seems they may consider an offer this summer if the fee could help them bring in new players.